At the start of the month, Wagyumafia brought its Slurp Like a Boss tour to Arcade, offering a small handful of diners a taste of their outrageously good Kobe beef ramen. If you’re familiar with Wagyumafia, you’ll know that this was a Very Big Deal. If not, let’s wind it back.
Wagyumafia was founded by self-taught Chef Hisato and entrepreneur Takafumi Horie. They wanted to educate their guests on authentic Japanese wagyu beef, showcasing the work and rich history of Japan’s wagyu farmers. The pair raised eyebrows when they won the bid for the world’s most expensive Kobe beef – with the highest fat marbling score in Kobe beef’s recorded history – in 2016.
What’s so special about this beef? You may have seen ‘Kobe beef’ used illicitly on restaurant menus; in fact, the term has been misused so frequently that is was once one of the food industry’s biggest scams. The truth is that only pure-blood Tajima cattle, bred, raised and slaughtered in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture can officially be referred to as Kobe beef. As little as 4,500 cattle per year fall into this category. These cattle are found isolated deep in the mountains so the marbled fat that defines a cut of Kobe beef – and its soft-as-melted-butter texture – is owed to their stress-free lives.
So, that's just how much of a Very Big Deal this bowl of ramen was. Chef Hisato brought each ingredient needed to make it with him from Japan. Of course, there was the Kobe beef, in the form of wagyu char siu. Then there was pure Kobe beef bone broth, stewed using ten heads’ worth of ribs and thigh bones for 24-hours. Then, homemade noodles and fresh organic veggies sourced directly from Japanese farmers. To top it off, an 8-year barrel aged soy sauce, made by a soy sauce master on Shikoku Island, exclusively for the dish. We hosted three sittings at Arcade, with ten bowls up for grabs at each one. Every bowl was served with Wagyumafia’s signature energy and one firm instruction: slurp like a boss.
Take it from us, that ramen was worth every air mile.